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Should the new higher immunogenicity influenza vaccines (Fluad® or Fluzone® High-Dose) be given to people who have a medical risk factor if they are not 65 years or over?

No. The higher immunogenicity vaccines (Fluad® (available for free on the National Immunisation Program) or Fluzone® High-Dose (available on prescription or from pharmacist vaccinators)) are only registered for use in people 65 years and over. Anyone aged less than 65 years of age should be offered an age appropriate influenza quadrivalent vaccine.

Do patients aged 65 and over require a dose of both Fluad® and Fluzone® High-Dose?

No. People aged 65 years and over should receive either Fluad® or Fluzone® High-Dose, not both.

Do patients aged 65 years and over who have received the higher immunogenicity vaccine (Fluad® or Fluzone® high dose) need to also have the quadrivalent vaccine?

No. Only one influenza vaccine is required per season in adults. People aged 65 and over should receive either Fluad® or Fluzone® High-Dose. The benefit of receiving either of these vaccines is likely to offset any loss of protection against the additional strain.

Can someone who has received the influenza vaccine early in the season receive an additional (booster) dose later in the year?

Revaccination is not recommended as there isn’t currently evidence that it is required.

Can someone who is 65 or over who received the flu vaccine for people under 65 years of age receive a subsequent dose of one of the vaccines for people 65 years of age and over?

Revaccination is not recommended as there isn’t currently any evidence about safety.

Isn’t it better for people who are aged 65 years and over to be vaccinated against 4 strains of influenza rather than 3?

The benefit to those aged 65 years and over being vaccinated with the higher immunogenicity influenza vaccine (Fluad® or Fluzone® High-Dose) is likely to offset any loss of protection against the additional strain in the quadrivalent vaccine.

How do I know which of the available influenza vaccines can be given to different people?

There are a number of resources and an information sheet providing advice in relation to which influenza vaccine should be administered to various age groups. Immunisation providers must check that the influenza vaccine that they are administering is the correct influenza vaccine for the person’s age.

Who should have 2 doses of influenza vaccine?

Children aged less than 9 years of age who are receiving the influenza vaccine for the first time should receive 2 doses of the vaccine, 4 weeks apart.

Can children receive the influenza vaccine for free?

Children in NSW who are aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age are eligible for free influenza vaccine as this is being provided as part of the NSW Imunisation Program. If two doses are indicated (in vaccine naïve children) both doses are free if they are under 5 years of age.

Influenza vaccine is also available free for children aged 5 years and over with specified medical conditions.

Can the influenza vaccine be given to children aged from 6 months to less than 5 years of age at the same time as other immunisation program vaccines?

Yes. All influenza vaccines can be administered at the same time as other vaccines.

There is a small increased risk of fever following administration of pneumococcal and influenza vaccines at the same time, and separating the doses by 3 days can be considered to reduce this risk.

Can people with an egg allergy receive the influenza vaccine?

Persons with egg allergy, including anaphylaxis, can be safely vaccinated with influenza vaccines. Persons with a history of egg allergy (non-anaphylaxis) can receive an age-appropriate full dose of vaccine in any immunisation setting. Persons with a history of anaphylaxis to egg should be vaccinated in medical facilities with staff experienced in recognising and treating anaphylaxis.

Is a ‘milky-white’ appearance of the Fluad® vaccine typical?

According to the product information for Fluad® it should be gently shaken before use. After shaking, the normal appearance of Fluad® is a milky-white suspension.

Can the influenza vaccine be administered to people with a latex allergy?

In 2019, all influenza vaccines available on the National Immunisation Program and NSW Health programs are latex free.

Page Updated: Tuesday 12 March 2019
Contact page owner: Immunisation